Filmmaker Paul Verhoeven recently found financial backing and a screenwriter for a new movie he’s doing based on his book, Jesus of Nazareth. The Total Recall and RoboCop director isn’t making a film about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as the faithful know him. Verhoeven, a professed atheist, is telling the story of Jesus as if he were simply a man, who influenced his time, sparked a political movement and made thought-provoking statements.
According to deadline.com, Verhoeven’s movie will not include the virgin birth or the resurrection, or any part of Jesus’ supernatural life, including the countless miracles recorded in the Bible. Rather, it will look at Jesus as an ethical revolutionary and profound teacher, not as God's Son and humanity's Savior.
This film news comes at a time when Hollywood is making biblical epics for the big screen, including Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and two projects about Moses, one reportedly being helmed by director Ridley Scott, the other by Steven Spielberg.
Admittedly, I have not read Mr. Verhoeven’s book, nor do I fully understand his reasoning for his view on the life of Jesus. However, if what is being currently reported is any indication of what audiences can expect, then this film is likely going to stir up controversy within religious and non-religious communities. For that reason, the film is welcomed, as it has the potential to promote widespread discussion about the Truth of Christ.
Jesus wasn’t simply a man, a historical figure. His purpose in history wasn’t to present us with an ethical way of living. He is the Son of Man (Matthew 26:2, I Timothy 2:5-6), the Redeemer of humanity (Romans 10, John 3:16).
We have been made right with God because of our faith. So we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
Note: It is my intention to follow this film through production, including the study of Verhoeven's book in the hopes of gaining better insight into his portrayal of Christ.